Move over turkey — it’s time to shop.
Black Friday began in earnest as Target, Abercrombie & Fitch and other stores opened their doors at midnight — a few hours earlier than they normally do on the most anticipated shopping day of the year. A few retailers even had lines of shoppers when they opened on Thanksgiving Day.
Herald Square in New York was bustling at 6 p.m. with shoppers looking to snag discounts at Old Navy and other stores that were open on the Thanksgiving. By 9:45 p.m., more than 300 people were waiting outside a Best Buy in New York before it opened at midnight. An hour later, nearly 2,000 were in line at another Best Buy in St. Petersburg, Fla., ahead of its midnight opening.
Roberto Rubi, 24, of Seminole, Fla., had been standing in line since 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning and hoped to score a cheap TV and laptop. He ate dinner with his family at home while three of his buddies took his place in line.
“It’s hard times,” Rubi says. “So, any discount helps.”
Retailers hope the earlier openings will make shopping more convenient for Americans who are more likely to be worried about high unemployment and the other challenges they face in the weak economy. Black Friday is important to merchants because it kicks off the holiday shopping season, a time when they can make 25 to 40 percent of their annual revenue. It’s expected that shoppers will spend nearly $500 billion during the holiday shopping season, or about 3 percent more than they did last year.
“It’s a good move to try to get shoppers to spend sooner, before they run out of money,” says Burt Flickinger, III, president of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group.
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article courtesy of Newsnet5.com